Natalie Portman: “In Hollywood, they consider me a smart woman”

Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman covers the July issue of Madame Figaro, and the cover shot is absolutely robotic looking, isn’t it? She looks like a (really tired) porcelain Natalie doll, which probably just means she’s highly photoshopped, but it also seems like the woman is in dire need of a lengthy nap. Perhaps baby Aleph is still a wee bit fussy and keeping Natalie up at night. Anyway, I’ve been trying to figure out what Natalie is promoting with this magazine cover because she doesn’t have any movies scheduled for release although her IMDb page reveals that she’s got three projects currently filming (including the Thor sequel and an untitled Terrence Malick projct). So I suppose Natalie is just reminding us that she’s still around and hasn’t retired from acting just because she had a baby. That makes sense, I guess. Here are some interview excerpts:

Natalie Portman

On appreciating her success: “I have always considered myself extremely lucky. I know very well that there are very few elected officials in this business and that many of us, despite their talent and hard work, will not come out of the lot. These are the laws of chance.”

On her youthful appearance: “It’s very strange because my physical traits sometimes make it difficult for others to consider me a woman and at the same time I have been in the business for so long that many think I have already passed the 40 year mark.”

On being an object of beauty: “I obviously do not see myself that way. I prefer ‘about beauty’ or ‘subject of desire.’ One can say that about all women, whatever their life and career.”

On her reputation for being an intellectual: “It is a matter of context. In Hollywood, they consider me a smart woman, but in other circles, I’m probably seen as a silly actress (laughs). In America, they see me as European. In Europe, some see me as maybe a stupid American.”

[From Madame Figaro]

I’ve always figured that Natalie struggles with having her comments misinterpreted and has attempted to guard against that dreaded evil with such guarded statements. She barely seems candid at all in her responses, but it’s hard to deny that she really is an intelligent person (and Ivy League scholar, blah blah) and perhaps doesn’t always sense her own vague air of pretention. Obviously though, she’s no Goop because, you know, Natalie actually graduated from college. Zing.

As far as this photoshoot goes, the interior shots are much better (and more relaxed looking) than the cover.

Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman

Photos courtesy of Madame Figaro

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173 Responses to “Natalie Portman: “In Hollywood, they consider me a smart woman””

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  1. gee says:

    She’s really pretty, and her answers sounded really thought out and careful. I appreciate that, because usually she is waaaaayyy too Goopy for my liking.

    • thyphoid mary says:

      I don ‘t know gee, i think it sucks having to toot your own horn on interviews, that’s why she comes across as pretentious, like she’s gotta prove she is not only “pretty” but also an intellectual unlike the rest of “hollyweird dropout losers”. It ‘s like that’s her virtue and uniqueness, ugh! I mean yes she is cutsie with a load of good luck, may be the Israeli blood (not to be interpreted as antisemitic since my hubby is jewish and is awesome)…but any way, does anyone else gets the feeling like she lacks that “je ne sais qhoi”??? Is it only me ???

      • Tiffany says:

        thypoid, I don’t see her as saying that she is smart at all. It seems that they asked questions that were flattering (on being pretty, smart), and she DEFLECTED the compliments by saying that there are probably some people that don’t see her that way.

        I think she was quite graceful with her answers.

      • deehunny says:

        I 100% agree with you Tiffany. I think that the ppl in Hollywood perceive her as an intellectual because she ::gasp:: went to college at an Ivy League school so she gets a lot of the crap in her interviews.

        But I may just be bias because I love Natalie Portman!

    • Dannii says:

      yes her comments are thought out-shame her decision to support that paedophile roman “i SHOULD be in jail” polanski was’nt given as much consideration. i used to think she was pretty smart until that and the rest of the hollywood idiots who followed suit.

  2. Sway says:

    “On being an object of beauty: “I obviously do not see myself that way. ”

    WHY do they ALWAYS say that?! Jeez… Just say: Yes, I’m pretty, thanks. I’m lucky that way.
    And stop being so phony!

    • Naye in VA says:

      Because we’d beat them up for it.

      • TrustMeOnThis says:

        TRUTH. We’d have the pitchforks and torches out so fast!

        Also, in context, she works in a profession that constantly undermines self-confidence, especially around women’s looks. Look how much makeup they have slapped on her. She is contoured within an inch of her life on that cover (before they even got out the photoshop). That’s how you see Jen Anniston made up! Anyone that beautiful who “needs” that much slap is going to doubt herself eventually.

        I’m so glad I wasn’t good enough to go into acting.

      • Tiffany says:

        Exactly. She deflected the compliment, and you still have people in the comments, like thyphoid mary above, saying that she was tooting her own horn.

        Lose/Lose situation.

    • someone says:

      honestly, i think that same thing as you sometimes. but i realize that when/if they do admit to being attractive, we yell at them for being arrogant and full of themselves. its honestly a double-edged sword. they can’t deny it because we’ll call them out for trying to be coy and if they admit to it, we yell at them for being cocky. i see this more for women than men. even in everyday lives, most women who declare themselves attractive are gossiped about by other women for being overly confident and stuck up. it sucks :S

    • blah says:

      I’m sure it’s more than manufactured humbleness. She’s in an industry where appearance makes or breaks how many millions of dollars she makes. She’s likely had to endure scads of producers, directors, studios and the like picking at the way she looks over the years. To say nothing of the catty public. I wouldn’t be surprised if she seriously thought she was a dog, the way a lot of models do.

      The acting business can do brutal things to your self esteem. Anyone with a headshot is an Everest size pile of issues.

  3. Jen says:

    And yet, much like Goop, she annoys the crap out of me.

  4. Glimmer Bunny says:

    She is the prettiest woman in Hollywood. Absolute perfection.

  5. Eve says:

    Natalie Portman: “In Hollywood, they consider me a smart woman”

    On Celebitchy, I consider you stupid.

  6. marie says:

    She is always so pretty and then she opens her mouth and all that goes out the window..

  7. Julie says:

    thats like saying “that man is faithful….for hollywood standards”.

    she comes across as smug and aloof but im happy that she is there because her education gives girls a better role model than so many other actreses (i know they shouldnt have those people as role models but thats the reality)

  8. Sisi says:

    in the cover shot she seems made-up to look like Mila Kunis

  9. brin says:

    She has kind of a robotic bitchface on the cover.

  10. Feebee says:

    She is a smart woman unfortunately this does not preclude her from saying stupid things. Despite some stereotyping I really doubt all Europeans think Americans stupid. That’s the impression she leaves, despite couching it with ‘some’ and ‘maybe’. I’m sure smart Europeans appreciate that there are smart Americans and embrace them.

    • Mare says:

      You are putting words in her mouth. She did not say that at all.

    • lafairy says:

      agree! I am French but I come offently to the US and you can’t stereotype people once you have travelled a bit: there are plenty of intelligent, educated and cultivated americans as there are plenty of stupid, vulgar and uneducated French! Being born with a specific nationality do not insure being smart well behaved and elegant!!

      What a brat!! she shouldn’t assume people find her intelligent! It’s totally otherwise I find her stupid stupid stupid and stupid! Did I say stupid?

      ps: and I am sure being a ” movie star” has helped a lot with her Ivy league applications…

      • Eléonore says:

        I am French as well and I completely agree with you. I attended Princeton and was so surprised to see how some people would make their way into this school; some students were incredibly intelligent but others, while not being completely stupid clearly bought their way into Princeton (super wealthy parents or former show biz kids). I think Natalie Portman is a bright woman and a skilled actress; however she is far from being as intelligent as people say she is.
        Another thing to consider is that most Hollywood actors are not especially bright and barely graduated high school… So of course compared to a crowd of completely uneducated people she’ll stand out and be portrayed as super-intelligent.

  11. Anna says:


    You are so right Natalie……

    • CC says:

      lol yea. That’s like saying all the British people love tea, all Germans love beer, all … you get the point. Stereotypes are just that /shrug.

      The education bit…yea. Well, as pointed out, she DID graduate from a good uni, so it’ not all BS. I don’t blame for being a bit conceited about it. I would be also. She seemed low-key about it, haven’t heard James Franco-like stories. A bit of stereotype here, but a lot of people of jewish descent are intelligent and hardworking, and I guess so is she. She fits the stereotype, but that’s not always a bad thing.

      • mollster says:

        I think she is very pretty–beautiful even– but quite overrated in looks and talent. That applies to Scarlett J. and Jessica Biel as well. Much more attractive by far, in my opinion are: Ziyi Zhang, Doraa Zarrouk, Kate Beckinsale, Aishwarya Rai and those are just off the top of my head. As far as Portman’s college degree goes, if an average person had private tutors and didn’t have to worry about working to make money to pay for said tutors I’m pretty sure they could get into an ivy league school too. Think about it, a private tutor or tutors and not having to share that person with 20 or 30 other kids in a class. So, that person would devote all their attention to you.

        Also, she does come off as quite haughty and I don’t think I’ve liked her in any role I’ve seen her in except for back when she was a kid. Since then, she just seems so robotic and unconvincing in her roles.

    • Micki says:

      Being European myself I hope you’re joking

  12. Maritza says:

    They photoshopped her beauty marks for the cover. She is very pretty and a really good actress, I like her.

  13. Angie says:

    Why cant I stand her? Yes, she went to an Ivy League. Do some really brilliant minds come out of Ivy Leagues? Of course. But not everyone there is a genius or even above the average intelligence; they’ve just got the money to put themselves through it. There are other factors for their reputation though, of course. The student body is more competent in general, because they admit individuals with higher scores in High School, and there is also nepotism to consider. If you’re in an Ivy League, you come from money, almost always. You have connections. Ivy Leagues unabashedly and un-apologetically take credit for such rampant success, when it’s really rather vicarious.

    anyway, regarding Natalie, I just feel like I’d respect her intelligence a lot more if it wasn’t shrouded with remarks on what school she went to, and her obvious genius, and was more represented by her actually saying something intelligent or academic in the slightest. Which she never really does.

    But it could have just been her role in Garden State. Never have I cringed more, and I can’t forgive her that.

    • Micki says:

      I’m not sure your equation money=Ivy League is so universally true but even IF I’ll still prefer Natalie as a dinner companion over Jenifer Aniston.I’m sure our conversation will be more interesting.

    • ceyala says:

      Ditto that, Angie. You’ve summed up everything I’ve heard about the ivy leagues. I’m sure they have some sort of minimum requirements, but basically money and connections get you in.

      She’s always come off as a bit vapid to me, but her intelligence is probably a little above average. She made sure the entire world knew about which school she was going to and that’s helped her reputation over the years. All that bragging made me wonder if she was teased as a kid for not being as sharp as her friends.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        My BF has an MBA from Harvard, he grew up poor and underpriveleged but worked his ass off in college to get into a good grad school. He has some VERY choice words to say about a lot of his fellow Harvard alumni.
        Distilled down to its essence: he said many were entitled, privileged, and lazy. The stereotype of trust fund kids with parents who made “generous” donations to the university made up a good portion of the students at Harvard.

        Also, just because you shell out 50K a year to go to a school, doesn’t mean you’ll get your money’s worth in education. To be a college professor you don’t have to have any formal education training and often this shows. A prof can have all the knowledge in the world and be an expert in his field but if he doesn’t know how to effectively transfer that knowledge to his students, then he’s essentially useless.

      • Lindy says:

        This is meant to be a reply to OriginalKitten, sorry!

        But no, you’re way off base when you say that you don’t have to have any formal training to be a college professor. That’s wildly untrue for the most part.

        There are a few fields or areas of study–for instance, creative writing, or graphic design, or dance, or industrial design–where you would not be required to have an advanced or terminal (meaning as high as you can go in that field) degree.

        And in those cases, it would be because your work history is able to stand in for the degree.

        Also, in many for-profit or online diploma mills (Phoenix, Argosy, Brown Mackie etc.) they have dropped the standards and will allow people to “teach” classes who do not have terminal degrees in the field. And in many decent community colleges, you must have an advanced degree–say, an MA–but not necessarily a terminal degree (a PhD or other doctorate) in your field to teach.

        However, by and large, you cannot be a professor in most fields/disciplines without serious work and a serious degree.

        In my field, you *must* get a 2 or 3 year MA first, followed by a 5-7 year PhD (takes so long in my field because you usually have to have a minimum of 4 or more foreign languages, including many difficult ancient languages).

        Not trying to be a jerk, just trying to correct a misconception. And if you attend an Ivy, then you will almost certainly, without question, have professors with advanced degrees from reputable schools, who have spent many years becoming experts and devoting a great deal of time and energy, often for very little money.

      • KAS says:

        Lindy, I think the Original Kitten was referring to the lack of training required in the field of “education”. In other words, a professor could have a PhD in his/her field, but no formal training as a teacher/ educator. I have two university degrees so I can completely attest to that! Oh, and for the record, I love Natalie.

    • Melissa says:

      I have to disagree with you on this. I graduated from an Ivy League school, and I got in because I’m smart. No connections – Mom graduated from high school, Dad got a 2-yr associates degree from community college when I was little. No money either – they gave me massive financial aid.

      Do some people get in because they are a legacy (a parent went to the school) or because they are big donors? Yes. People also get in b/c they play a certain sport (Ivies don’t provide athletic scholarships, but they will throw financial aid on athletes, whether warranted or not, if they want them enough). The Ivies also look for diversity – racial as well as geographical. It is easier to get in if you’re from Idaho than if you’re from NY, b/c they want to say they have students from all 50 states and XX number of countries.

      So, just because you went to an Ivy doesn’t mean you’re smart, but the average intelligence of graduates of Ivies and other top-notch schools (Stanford, MIT, etc.) is greater than the average intelligence of a less selective school.

      • Amy says:

        I hope you don’t mind me asking Melissa, but I was curious about the process of getting into an Ivy League University. What should the grades be to get in? In my freshman year I didn’t do so well. Thanks.

      • EmmaV1 says:


        It REALLY depends…I graduated from Columbia U 5 years ago with a major in Biochemistry. In high school, I had 4 B’s (All in sciences lol), but I went to Stuyvesant which is usually ranked top 40 public high schools in the nation. I got full score on the bio and chem SAT II though so yeah it really balanced things out…cause lots of my classmates from not as competitive high schools were all valedictorians/salutatorians but in terms of SAT I/II they did worse than me by a decent margin.

        To note though, that whatever high school you go to, you need to be top 10% to be considered basically (i think the stats say it’s 98% are top 10%)

      • Angie says:

        While I appreciate your anecdote (and don’t deny it — I mentioned both the higher scores and that great minds do come out of Ivy Leagues) it does NOT make up the aggregate. You and others like you are exceptions, carefully calculated ones, at that. By and large, people graduating from Ivy League are far more wealthy and well-connected than brilliant. Of course they are the more studious of their lot, but even of those there are simply individuals who are passed through on their status alone. And I have always been suspicious of the education provided, frankly. The Professors tend to be far more fixated on producing writing than teaching courses thoroughly.

        Do I think Natalie is probably studious? Sure, I’ll give her that. I’m sure her HS scores were good (though I’d even question the merit of those). But without her money, she’d have never gotten in, I’m almost sure. She’s never proven herself to me to be an intellectual or particularly academic in the slightest. (I’m also not terribly impressed by her major, which never seems to be mentioned).

      • Ali says:


        Do you truly believe the average intelligence of those that attend “top notch” schools is higher than those who do not? That is some statement and one I doubt statistics would validate. You are equating academic achievement with intelligence and while there may be some correlation other factors play a large part. I won’t even get into those people who do poorly on standardized tests and are often overlooked. Hopefully, my UVA and Hopkins education add enough weight that you might take my comment seriously.

    • ZenB!tch says:

      Hey! Don’t diss the legacy/fund students. they paid for half of my education! Seriously, that is what they are good for, they pay full price and their parents donate to the scholarship fund on top of that so the rest of us can go if we work hard enough.

    • marigold says:

      I can’t speak for other Ivy League schools but Harvard is in a special position in that it offers extraordinary funds to students with parents that are not rich. For instance, you can go to their website and calculate how much it will cost to attend Harvard depending on income and if your parents make say, $90,000, you only pay about $11,000 to attend. The rest is scholarship. That’s what an amazing endowment will do for people with less income and Harvard uses the endowment pretty extensively, which says to me that many, many NOT rich people attend.

      • Lindy says:

        Princeton was actually the first of the Ivies to institute this “no debt for those who cannot pay” program. And kind of shamed a few of the other Ivies into following suit. If you’re smart enough to get in, you can go, largely debt-free–even if you can’t afford it. That means that there’s actually a decent amount of income diversity at Princeton and the other Ivies who have this policy. Though still plenty of TFBs and legacies floating around, alas! :)

  14. Sara says:

    She’s an idiot, no one in Europe considers her an European actress. If she weren’t a celeb she wouldn’t have gotten to Harvard.

    • marigold says:

      As far as I know, she used a pseudonym to get into Harvard and they had no idea it was her.

      • Aotearovian says:

        She used her real surname, which is Herschlag – Portman is her stage name.

      • S says:

        This is true. Portman’s high school GPA was apparently strong, and she scored well (enough) on standardized entrance exams to render her a good candidate for acceptance into a reputable college.

        However, listing her involvement in film acting on her application likely helped too. Universities with a vested interest in diversifying their reputations will take notice of finer details like these. Though perhaps she wasn’t as well known an actress pre-university as she became after graduating, this must have set her apart from her college-applying competitors at Syosset High. Having well-to-do parents didn’t hurt either, I’m sure.

        I have a friend who attended Harvard at the time Portman did. He was acquainted with her, hung out in her social circle for a while, and had a couple of classes with her, I believe. Notwithstanding his “celeb crush” on her, he always regarded Portman as a typical student—neither exceptional nor substandard, but just average: she blended in, did as much work as was required to get by, and participated in whatever *recreational* activities most young college students partake in. He also once mentioned that to his knowledge, she didn’t have a particularly challenging course load, especially in relation to some of her peers.

        My guess is that Portman is bright—relatively speaking. If she were put in a room with a variety of intelligent folks, she likely wouldn’t stand out. But since she’s in show business, the media overhypes her intelligence because she’s being weighed against fellow entertainers who don’t have the same kind of educational background, and some who haven’t maintained as squeaky clean an image. Her allegedly high intellectual capacity defines her public persona and sets her apart from many of her colleagues. It’s smart branding.

        On another note, having attended an Ivy League myself, I can attest to some of the previous posts on this page by saying that not all students who snag seats at “elite” schools are mind-blowingly brilliant. I would go so far as to say that, generally, the number of highly intelligent students is on par with the number of students who are accepted for every other possible reason. It is also just as easy at most selective universities as I imagine it would be at other universities to “coast” if one knows exactly what kinds of courses to take. Plus, grade inflation does exist at (many) top-tier schools.

        Finally, I think the person who posted comment #17 has made a summary point by saying that education and knowledge mustn’t be confused with intelligence—especially because there are so many different types of intelligence, and so many different kinds of great things that can be achieved through any one of them.

    • Abby says:

      not to defend her, but that’s exactly what she said.

      “In America, they see me as European. In Europe, some see me as maybe a stupid American.”

    • ZenB!tch says:

      I totally agree… I don’t see her as European. I also don’t see European as “classier” and/or “smarter” than American. It depends on which European and which American I’m comparing. Beckham is European, isn’t he? He’s dumber than Megan Fox.

      I don’t see her as “middle American” or “all American” because she’s not. I see her as “ethnic white urban/suburban American” – same as I see myself.

      America is about the same size as Europe and we have as many regions as Europe has countries.

  15. Loulou says:

    I think there’s self-deprecation and a good dose of shy awkwardness in her statements and less of a reinforcement of stereotypes. The concept too of being on a cover to promote something doesn’t necessarily apply outside the Hollywood machine. How many times has Johnny Halliday been featured with nothing but an update on the status of his relationships, for example? The French love Nathalie Portman, that’s enough to them to put her beautiful face on a cover and let her speak. Since The Hitman with Jean Reno, she has proved her worth and earned her place. I’m going to go out and buy the mag. Thanks for posting about it!

    • A Girl Named Mikki says:

      Thank you Loulou! For the life of me I don’t understand all the hostility! I’ve loved Natalie since I noticed her in the movie, “The Professional” and have been quite proud of her since.

      She reminds me a lot of my daughter who’s on her way to law school. Both are pretty, smart with a strong sense of self that’s generally misunderstood by INSECURE people…

    • Jilliterate says:

      Agreed. I think people are focusing on the parts of her statement that were just the padding. The point was not that she was trying to characterize what Americans might be like or what Europeans might be like, but rather, that she’s trying to characterize herself, a fish-out-of-water. Whether or not she’s actually intelligent, she has a reputation for being an intellectual (The Ivy league education, being a polyglot, and avoiding the typical popcorn flicks all contribute to that), which certainly seems to alienate her from American audiences, as seen by a lot of the acerbic comments here. Meanwhile, she can’t escape the fact that the majority of her career IS in Hollywood, no matter how “arty” her films might be compared to the standard fare, which limits how much respect she’s going to garner as an artist (How much of said respect is deserved is up for debate).

  16. Bite me aka aniston says:

    George W.Bush graduated from two ivy leagues universities, so what

  17. Ranunculus says:

    Never confuse education and knowledge with intelligence. She comes across as somebody whose family background afforded her a higher education than most people, which is where the smug attitude comes from, I guess – BUT intelligent or even talented she is definitely not!

  18. Vivian says:

    Ugh…if you have to basically say your smart; it’s like defending yourself, which wouldn’t really be needed if she was a real intellect.

  19. Chris: now with 10% less negativity says:

    You can’t win. Say too little and people say you’re not very candid. Say something controversial and people say you should keep your big mouth shut. But for what’s it worth i thought she was great in Leon. But I’m still Team Bale.

  20. Bondon says:

    Well, she’s among the few and far between child stars who transition successfully to adult actors. I think that’s an even better accomplishment than her Ivy League degree. As @bite me aka aniston pointed out – the likes of W have (buy?) an Ivy League education.

    But how many child stars turn out to be Oscar-winning actors? She obviously has a good head on her shoulders, talent, and probably supportive parents.

    • A Girl Named Mikki says:

      Thank YOU!!

      No scandal or any of the other debased “trappings” of being a child-star that I witnessed but she gets ridiculed or verbally STONED for stating that Hollywood perceives her as being smart?!

      Maybe I’m on the wrong blog because this feels like insanity to me.

  21. paola says:

    Considering the fact that Hollywood is also made of people like Lidsay Lohan, Tara Reid, Blake Lively, Charlie Sheen, Ashton Kutcher and many more.. I too consider Natalie Portman like she was a Nobel Prize.

    • Minty says:

      Well said! Her confidence can be misinterpreted as arrogance, but it’s unlikely we’ll see her stumbling out of a club high on drugs, flashing her cooch, trashing hotel rooms, or driving drunk. Kudos to her for being one of the few in Hollywood who made college a priority over her acting career.

      • A Girl Named Mikki says:

        Paola and Minty! I should have read your comments before I posted mine.

        As a parent who counsel so many young girls on cultivating and maintaining a strong SENSE OF SELF and living according to their values and not others, there are many actresses in Hollywood (and those aspiring to be) who could benefit from Natalie’s example.

        I’m so glad to see I’m not the only one who recognizes how ridiculous the hate is…

      • ZenB!tch says:

        She rubbed me the wrong way because of her European comment. Us stupid Americans – even the ones with Ivy League degrees see her as intelligent and poised and therefore European. Uh… no.

        *Bad grammar intentional

      • paola says:

        I am european and i don’t think all the americans are stupid as much as it isn’t true that alle the italians are involved with mafia, or french people just survive on brad and cheese or german people just drink beer and are all nazi.
        In my opinion being intelligent and being literate is a total different thing, you are not intelligent only because you have a degree hanging on your wall.. so i agree with you, she sounds sometims a bit snotty but she is so much better than many many others!

    • Emma says:

      Really? You’re grouping Blake Lively with Tara Reid and Charlie Sheen? lmao the over the top jealousy based hate for that girl is pathetic.

      • paola says:

        Err-..sorry but she isn’t the brighest bulb out there! Now if you think i’m jelous you’re so very wrong..but yes she has great legs and i’d swap my brain for them :D

      • Emma says:

        Er when has Blake shown to not be the brightest bulb? She’s never said anything stupid… are you basing this assumption off her looks? She’s articulate and well spoken in every interview I’ve seen with her. But carry on with your baseless assumptions that yes, are based and fueled by your own jealousies.

  22. LittleDeadGirl says:

    I have to admit, she rubs me the wrong way, but I actually liked her comment about being a smart woman in context. I’m sure in Hollywood, with all the bimbos, she is a very smart woman while in other settings she’s just average. Which is of course the same for all of us.

  23. lisa2 says:

    I don’t know. I don’t know much about her. I just don’t find her particularly interesting; on screen or off. She just doesn’t illicit a reaction one way or the other.

  24. INeedANap says:

    I think a lot of people are reading her quote out of context. I found it more as her saying that compared to the general Hollywood public, she is very educated. I actually found her comment to be insightful and self-deprecating. And anyone who has seen her SNL rap knows that she isn’t all pretension.

  25. Dee Cee says:

    She really has a hard time just relaxing and being just a human, not worrying about what people say and feel., repeating the labels of what ANYONE said of HER CHARACTER.. doesn’t she..

  26. Ais says:

    That magazine cover is gas! It took me way too long to figure out whether it was in French or English.

  27. Imitation Crab says:

    Oh get over yourself Natalie Hershlag — we all have. And STFU by the way.

  28. lola says:

    She comes off book smart to me and articulate. But you can tell she’s been in hollywood since she was a child, there’s a sort of bubble mentality to her that makes her seem a bit self-unaware and self-centered.

    There’s more annoying people than her in hollywood though, so there’s that.

    • Kate says:

      I thought her acceptance speeches during awards season when she was winning for Black Swan were some of the most rambling, inarticulate speeches I’ve ever heard out of the mouth of an actor/actress. I don’t doubt that she is “book smart” and she certainly is a genius compared to Lohan, Kutcher, et al., but unless she has memorized prepared lines or is reading from a teleprompter, her ability to articulate her thoughts, at least in a public speaking setting, is awful.

      • Little Darling says:

        This is absolutely true~ I don’t know if it was because she was pregnant, in love, or just really, really happy, but wow, burbling doesn’t really express what she did up there.

        However, it kind of humanized her…the goofy laugh, the impromptu nature of it.


      • ataylor says:

        Ironically, Ashton Kutcher is really smart. He is not eloquent at all and most of the time sounds like an overgrown dumb jock, but he is actually quite “book smart.” He was a Biomedical Engineering major at the University of Iowa. A school he “deigned” to go to after his scholarship to MIT was retracted after he was arrested his senior year for breaking into his HS after dark with his cousin. I believe the charge was for a school prank and vandalism?

        He’s immature and kinda sucks as an actor, but the fool sure does have a healthy dose of business savvy. I cannot knock him for that.

        And he’s good looking too. Even if he is a douche.

  29. ZenB!tch says:

    I’m not her biggest fan because I think she is a fake goodie-two-shoes but I don’t find her as annoying as Goopie. At least Natalie has an education and some talent, to back up some of her pretensions.

    Goopie’s parents are Hollywood – big fricking deal. She droppped out of a party school because “Uncle Steven” got her a part. That’s talent.

    On the flipside, I think that Natalie’s edumacation has something to do with her contempt for Christian Bale and vice-versa. I am still Team Natalie on that one because I know what I am capable of, there is a certain look of disdain and condescension and the attitude works both ways.

  30. Jordan says:

    I didn’t see anything scandalous in her comments. Pretty much towed the line right down the middle. The fact that anyone could bitch about something she said in these excerpts shows that people will always find something to complain about if they think a person is more successful, beautiful, or richer than they are. Human nature, I guess.

  31. Jackson says:

    Eh, I like her for the most part. I thought her comments were fine and so are the pics. Makes me kinda laugh that she takes so much crap for so little.

  32. lamamu says:

    Working that Intellectual Blue Steel angle.

  33. whoukiddins says:

    guess there will be no mention that she’s actually a midget with an enormous skull ….
    fat chance harharhar

  34. lower-case deb says:

    Dolph Lundgren surprised me most. I knew he had a masters in Chem.Eng, but I didn’t realize he was also a Fulbright Scholar for a year at MIT. but I guess a doctorate is too geeky even for Ivan Drago.

    • carrie says:

      for the note,she was in Paris at the begining of july with her kid and boyfriend .She went to BON POINT (kids clothes shop) and she disliked the people said her her baby was big .”he’s not big ! he’s chubby!”.The saleswoman thought big as tall and Nathalie P went out angry of the shop

  35. Meadowlark says:

    But is she still a Zionist who equates eating meat to rape?

    • Leen says:

      Just because she’s Israeli doesn’t make her a Zionist. From what I can tell, she’s not.

      • lafairy says:

        She is Totally a Zionist!
        When she was at Harvard she penned an “essay”,the title was “the case of Israël” in which she defended that for her every jewish in the world has the right to one day live in Israël… while all the palestinians who left their country and are refugees in other countries (mainly Jordania) should be barred from coming back.

        Well I don’t know wath other definition you can put on this “nice” piece , except Zionist!!

      • LeenB says:

        @Lafey. I can’t reply to you so I’m going to reply here. I know she was a research assistant to hershowitz (who I know is a big time zionist) and we can all agree that his book has been already debunked by finkelstein. I also read her weird essay to chaudhry the one I mentioned in my post down below which was poorly executed.
        However the stuff she says is very tame for 2003
        Zionist. And based on her actions, at least what I
        know of, she does not come off as a hardcore
        Zionist. For one thing she never lived in Israel since she was a kid, hasn’t expressed her political opinions so far since 2003 ( a lot of has changed), she never served in the army, she doesn’t make any public donations to any sketchy Zionist orgs nor is she involved in any Israeli hasbara. I’ll give her the benefit of a doubt for now and seriously advise her to stay away from that fool dershowitz and leave one voice org.
        if anything although i am not a huge fan of these people, she comes off as those liberals who keep shouting everything is fiiiine but if she is one of te liberal American Jews with a soft spot for Israel, the whole community is changing especially with thenpublication of the crisis of Zionism and creation of j street.

    • ZenB!tch says:

      How are you going to fit every Jew in the world in Israel. Sorry but the concept is laughable.

  36. Rada ura says:

    Lack of wit, humour and esprit is always a sign of little intellect. Portman is just plain boring. Like the fellow student you never wanted to hang out with b/c she was more interested in kissing the prof’s behind than doing some naughty fun.

  37. Nicole says:

    I don’t understand the contempt for this woman.

    • Miz Misanthrope says:

      The comtempt at least for me comes from the fact that she’s a robotic actress who at best plays different versions of the same character in EVERYTHING. As well because of her ridiculous Polanski support saying to the effect that he should be forgiven for raping a 13 year old girl because he was in the Holocaust. She also had the gall to compare eating meat with committing rape-all to defend her vegan beliefs. She’s grating, sanctimonious, pretentious and has her head so far up her own ass she can see out her own mouth. In fact to me she’s worse than GOOP because as bad as GOOP is she’s never defended a child rapist.

  38. anya says:

    Women really can’t win can they? On this site it seems they’re either classed as dumb but nice, or ‘pretentious intellectuals’.

    • Nina says:

      Agreed. When a site degenerates to the point where people display their contempt by referring to a woman as a “hybrid slut” I think we’ve jumped the collective shark. Disgusting.

      • kay says:

        I’ve reported that comment.

        I have read things like that on Radar, for example, but never on this site. Sure, people go off the rails sometimes, but I have never read anything as disgusting as that entire post.

        I don’t care either way about her. I’ve enjoyed a few of her movies, disliked a few.

    • ZenB!tch says:

      Well there is dumb and contemptible like LiLo, etc. There is wanna be intelligent like Goop. There is dumb and mentally ill like Britney. Sorry, I can’t help it. I see her and think she is as dumb as a door nail. I have bipolar friends so that is not a dis on bipolar people.

      This site is also called CeleBitchy so the most “popular” people here are the ones we love to hate, followed by the ones that are 50-50 so the arguments ensue (those are my faves.

      The bloggers introduce people and test out our temperature. Most of us seemed to like Charlize so she is kind of gone.

      I come here for the comments and believe it or not the camaraderie. There are other blogs with a lot more celeb “news”.

      • Aotearovian says:

        Well said. I couldn’t agree with you more on Britney, the girl is as thick as a brick and the very last thing she needed was international fame.

        BTW, I’ve been agreeing with your comments all over this response thread, so please accept this response as standing for all of them :)

  39. Mrs. Ari Gold says:

    She doesn’t remind me of Goop at all because she doesn’t seem vain or shallow. I can’t picture her having pliates & dieting be the center of her life and her telling everyone about it or looking down on anyone else.

    If you look at her actual quote she was being really humble and putting down Hollywood for considering her smart.

    • ZenB!tch says:

      She’s a totally different animal from Goop. I call Natalie out on pretension while pleading equally guilty on behalf of myself and my friends.

      Overly educated people (not women, people), those with any Ivy League degrees or graduate degrees from real universities tend to say things like what Natalie says. That European comment takes the cake. Real universities as opposed to Phoenix, Aragosy, et al.

      Goop is all about showing off her expensive life. She’s more like a vapid socialite than an actress. I don’t see Natalie hawking $250 acrylic trays.

      On the flip side, I have worked with intelligent people who for some reason were not able to acquire a college degree of any sort and have a giant chip on their shoulder vs. those of us who do. It does work both ways.

  40. Leen says:

    It’s weird but although I do think she is quite smart, I’ve read some of her ‘political’ essay or as close to political issue as it can get and I found it not only poorly executed, but lacks any critical analysis. I was very disappointed and caught me by surprise. No doubt she uses fancy words as any scholar would but she lacked critical analysis and made her, sorry to say this, but come off at best, as a student who scanned a couple of journal articles and wrote ‘what they knew’ in general trivia rather than use a scholarly way of thinking.

  41. Joey says:

    Why do we care about what any actress says off camera (as in movie camera)? She’s gorgeous and a very good actress. She has good box office draw. The end.

  42. says:

    I can’t stand her but yes she is beautiful. I’ve always thought she and Keira were doppelgangers but these photos make Keira look like her ugly twin. (oddly enough both are pretentious and think they’re better actresses than they actually are?).

  43. Janet says:

    She may be brainy and intelligent but she comes off as a snotty, pretentious bitch. JMO.

  44. Miss Beca says:

    Ugh, she sure is gorgeous but I am really tired of her bringing up how smart and educated she is all the time. I get it, I do. But…enough.

  45. KnowledgeisPower says:

    I have never left a comment on Celebitchy before, but I really feet moved to today. The anti-intellectualism and woman-on-woman bashing in these comments on Natalie Portman is really shocking. Spending your time in high school learning and gaining knowledge is a GOOD thing. Going to a rigorous university where you will be surrounded by and learn from a good number of brilliant students and professors is a GOOD thing. Learning is GOOD. Having knowledge about your subject and about the world around you does not make a person pretentious. Harvard is filled with middle class achievers–people whose parents worked hard. People who are often the children of first generation immigrants. People without huge amounts of cash or connections. For these students, getting into Harvard means seriously hard work. For their parents it means a lifetime of working hard, deferring on vacations, cars, luxuries, so that you have money to send your kids to college. And coming out of Harvard means being able to stay in the middle class (a feat in this economy), or a chance at achieving your dreams in art, journalism, film making, finance,entrepreneurship, research, philanthropy, medicine…whatever your passion. I didn’t go to Harvard, but I have many friends who did. I went to a big name school. The name of my school opens doors for me, but once I’m in, I have to work as hard as anyone else. In fact, I work harder, which is why I’ve been able to come quite far in life. Part of the reason I can work so hard, is because of the way I worked in high school, and they way I had to work in college to simply keep up. Let’s not encourage a Kardashian or Lohan world all about materialism and surfaces. We should be looking up to Natalie for choosing, in her youth, to devote so much time to improving her brain when she could have easily skated by on her looks.

    • kay says:

      Perhaps you should post more often. Well said.

      Just as a thought, if you make paragraphs, it makes for easier reading. What you had to say was important. Not a criticism, just as a thought.

      I’m glad you decided to post.

    • dizzy says:

      IA. Those that don’t like her, will find something to complain about.

    • Jordan says:

      Very well said. Some women can be their own worst enemy at times.

    • ebraca says:

      I get your point, however…

      1) the site is called “CeleBITCHY”; bashing celebrities is expected.
      2) no one is calling her out with her pursuit of higher education. N.P. is perceived with having an air of pretention and an attitude (via her interview answers) that rubs people the wrong way. this stuff, is what creates the “hate” towards N.P.
      3) No one is saying that there aren’t people who work there asses off to get into Harvard/Ivy-college or college in general. there are a few people who speak of Harvard admission happening with money — maybe true, maybe false, but most comments are complimentary of the financial aid given due to the the school’s endowment.

    • jojalu says:

      I’ve never posted before either but you took the words right out of my mouth, so to speak. I’m not sure what kind of woman “wins” in these situations when someone Natalie Portman receives so much ill will. Yes, she is pretty. Yes, she is smart and well read. Why does that bother so many women? I don’t find her pretentious.

      • Ranunculus says:

        I think a lot of the dislike is because she comes across as not real. Like she lived all her life in this privileged bubble, like she was never allowed to play with the poor kids, like she never was introduced to the real life with all its negativity and bad trappings. Sorry there is something very naive, un-grounded, complacent, immature, arrogant and therefore off putting about her. Why she got the Oscar for Black Swan is still beyond me, she definitely lacks the intelligence and humbleness to be a great actor.

  46. Grace says:

    This poor girl is delusional. I don’t think Hollywood considers her at all. She’ll never be pretty enough or have enough personality to eb a true lead. She should try a new persona to stretch her work.

    • kay says:

      You’re right! Hollywood totally dismisses her, they must have put the wrong name in the Oscar envelope- you know, the Oscar she won? and deserved?

      But of course you Grace, know better that she is not a true leading lady. Of course you do.

      • lafairy says:

        Yes they totally had put the wrong name in that envelope!! this is the least deserve oscar from this decade, she is GOOP 2.0!!

        Anette Benning was totally robbed, and the second best after her was Jennifer Lawrence for Winter Back.

        Natalie owes her oscar to Harvey Weinstein and the very agressive campaign he runned for her mainly based on lies (remember the very polemic public that rose just after her win about the dancing, how she pretended all along that she became “a real dancer” for the role?)

        Her oscar has no value like for Gwyneth Paltrow it will always be seen like the total fraud it is!

        And besides, despite her win she is is not a leading lady she is always second knive, or object of affection!

  47. Crystal says:

    I’ve never had a problem with her. She’s not as smart as people make her out to be but I don’t see how her haters can call her smug. I’ve never seen it. Maybe I’m just not enough paying attention.

    Fake humility is annoying. Sure, but women in Hollywood don’t get the luxury of being respected for their honesty. Look at the uproar over Megan Fox’s cooments about not trading places with an ugly girl. She got dragged for that. Either way, women can’t win when they talk about their looks. Maybe some of these actresses/singers honestly don’t think they’re all that great looking.

    I kind of understand what she means about her intelligence and context. On one hand she’s in an industry full of Lindsay’s and Rihanna’s and Charlie Sheen’s so she sticks out as someone classy and intelligent. On the other hand she can be just as dumb as the rest of the industry when she compares meat eaters to rapists, supports Roman Polanski and says sh*t like ‘I’m not Black, but I know what it feels like’ (after she read a book in college) and ‘recession is an exciting time for people’.

    Natalie is basically the brunette, vegan Gwyneth Paltrow who’s usually ignorant to her privilege. There are times when she can even manage to out-Paltrow Gwyneth Paltrow. I get not liking her but this interview is pretty harmless, she hasn’t said anything stupid here. Though I’m sure if this was a Robert Pattinson interview some of y’all would salivate over how self-depricating and honest this is. If only Natalie had a d*ck, maybe then people wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss what she’s saying here. Ah well, this is Celebitchy after all. After that Beyonce thread I don’t think any comments on this site can shock me tbh.

  48. Bina says:

    I actually think the tone of Portman’s comments is down to a poor translation from the original French. The sentence structure is what you’d see in French, but sounds awkward and stilted in English. (yeah, I got an Ivy League education…. )

  49. dizzy says:

    Lol @ some losing their shit over this interview. It’s not even controversial. Natalie can’t win with some people.

  50. JFS61 says:

    Not surprised at all, as she has always been smug and full of herself.

  51. justez says:

    Well if I went to an Ivy League School it would probably be all I would talk about so I don’t see what people are talking about in the least. Intelligence is nothing to be ashamed of, and I believe it should be bragged about in a culture where people like Charlie Sheen and Kim Kardashian are idolized for much more vapid reasons.

    • Angie says:

      Intelligent people are far too preoccupied talking about intelligent things to talk about their own intelligence; at least, the ones I admire. Of course there are blowhards that have a bit of brains, but I rather think that’s a sort of pseudo-intelligence. Think of how many great minds have been quoted talking about their own superior knowledge rather than their ideas and executions.

  52. Aubra says:

    If I just don’t read her interviews, she doesn’t come off as annoying, her “modeling” photos give me life!!

  53. Camille (The original) says:

    She really is a beautiful woman, but I find her boring and I just have never warmed to her. She also doesn’t come across as very likeable IMO.

  54. dorothy says:

    I know I’m in the minority here, but I like her.

  55. ZenB!tch says:

    As an aside, I recently saw Thor… WTH were she and Kenneth Branagh doing there? I’m no longer as thin as Natalie but I am at most an inch taller than she is and I hated being reminded of how little I really am when compared to other people.

  56. JessSaysNo says:

    She must fancy herself European because Americans sure as hell don’t.

  57. lilou says:

    She isn t European nor American.. she s Israeli and a zionist.. not to be confused with a judaist. She is also a homewrecker .. hence stealing Millepied from his lontime partner. and her beauty is far from naturelle at all .. she had loads of plastic surgery done but in a discrete way and not like others in Hollyweird. She just was a small brunette with average looks that got lucky..or maybe as they in Hollywood it s not what you do but who you do. She is a business woman … don t let her degree or looks deceive you.

    • Aotearovian says:

      For the love of all that is good and proper, can we once and for all abandon the sheer bollocks that is the notion that a woman can ‘steal’ a woman from another man, or ‘wreck’ someone else’s home?

      Millepied’s not a car, he’s a human being. If rumors are true, and I wouldn’t know, he left the woman he was with because he met someone he liked more. And used his own little brain and legs and free will to do it. I’m fairly sure neither a lasso nor a gun was involved.

      Eh, if someone left me in that way, the last person I would blame is the ‘other’ woman. I’d be remonstrating with myself for choosing a man of such egregiously poor character.

      I’m eternally fond of Elizabeth Taylor’s line: “You can’t break up a happy marriage.”

      • KAI says:

        Elizabeth Taylor? What else would you expect a serial adulterer to say? I’ll bet she also had some choice names for the other women when she was the wronged party. Classy lady that Elizabeth.

        There is nothing wrong with placing blame on a women or man who knowingly sleeps with a married person. They don’t deserve all the blame, but they most certainly deserve some.

  58. phoenix says:

    I know I’m in the minority but I thought Annette Benning should’ve won the Oscar for “The Kids are Alright”. “Black Swan” was totally overrated. I much preferred Aronofsky’s “The Wrestler”. That being said, she’s beautiful.

  59. Aud says:

    I don’t get the backlash in this comment thread.
    Compared to 90% of actresses (Angelina included), Portman is intelligent, she has completed her education (which isn’t restricted to high school diploma level), and she has been published as a psychology researcher as well.
    What the hell is wrong with some of the commenters in this thread?
    She is ‘boring’ because she co-opt her image to political agencies and sell herself out?

    • lafairy says:

      She is educated which is rather different than intelligent,and I consider Angelina Jolie way more intelligent even if she hasn’t have a degree to “prove” it (did you seriously have watch them both in interviews on serious matters?)

      There are plenty of actresses but without the validation of a degree (Cate Blanchette anyone, Tilda Swinton?)

      And Anne Hathaway, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Lucy Liu, Jodi Foster, amanda peet, Rashida Jones, Juila stiles, Jennifer Conolly and even Elizabeth Banks (!) are all Ivy League graduates so why oh why we never hear about how much “educated and intelligent” they are???

      Emmy Rossum is an achieved opera singer with the whole refinement and huge culture and knowledge that comes with so how it comes she doesn’t come off pretentious and pompuous??

      If she is to be compared to the likes of Lindsay Lohan and even Scarjo sure she is intelligent.

      But if we compare her to all the other actresses she is not particularly intelligent she is just the one who likes to brag really really louder!

      • PDS says:

        You make a good point that education doesn’t necessarily equal intelligence, lafairy. It’s a point that’s actually been stated a few times in the comments on this blog post.

        And thanks for doing a little research and listing a few well-known actresses who also attended and/or obtained degrees from good colleges. The reason the public doesn’t get pounded with reminders of how “educated and intelligent” most of these women are is because they don’t use their alma maters to reinforce their Hollywood images (and statuses) the way Ms. Portman does (or, to give her some slack, the way Ms. Portman’s publicity team does).

      • lafairy says:

        exactly!! plus they don’t need to!

  60. msw says:

    Well, this American considers her not European, but Nabooian.

  61. sup says:

    she is smart… for hollywood standards, that is